The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) suffered a myriad of setbacks that included lack of seriousness at formulation stage, unwillingness to make sacrifices, competition for resources, Centre for Research and Consultancy has said.
The think tank’s executive director Milward Tobiasi said this Thursday in reaction to the recent mid-term review of MGDS III which revealed that the blue-print under-performed in most targets.
The review showed that the country has achieved only 31 percent of national development targets in the past two-and-half years of implementation.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) in collaboration with the Department of Economic Planning and Development (EP&D) reviewed the progress in the implementation of the strategy which will be implantation period between 2017 and 2022 and came into force after the expiry of its predecessor in June 2016.
Tobiasi argued that the under-performance of past national development strategies, including MGDS III has been a result of deficiencies at formulation stage and failure to create prerequisite foundation or environment for successful implementation.
“Without attacking personalities, the team that formulated MGDS III suffered from shortage of seriousness. Some targets failed right at formulation stage and did not require review to assess whether they performed or not. There are data inconsistences with serious implications on measuring performance,” he said.
For example, Tobiasi said page 26 of the printed version of MGDS III says additional investment of $1.2 billion would help double per capita income from $380 yet the annex on page 184 shows per capita income in base year at $458.
On the same data inconsistency, Tobiasi said on page 28, there is a projected average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6.2 percent yet on page 184 shows average GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent.
“Surely, a national development strategy prepared by technocrats with specialised training ought not to suffer from such inconsistencies,” he said.
On unwillingness to make sacrifices, Tobiasi lamented that the nation that has deficiency of sense of pride and cherish begging, stressing that the nation as a whole is not shy to beg for basics while spending own resources on luxuries.
On his part, NPC director general Thomas Munthali said despite the implementation challenges, there is need to think positive going forward.